Example Of Thesis Statement On How Is The Determination Of The Distance Of Gunshot Important To Criminal Investigation?
A Firearms Examiner is a person whose role is to examine forensic evidence gathered after or during a shootout in order to come up with conclusive evidence before the bar of justice (Kiely, 2006). The role of the examiner is to compare bullets from crime scenes and/or victims by studying patterns of gunshot residues and comparing these patterns with the patterns of tests produced by the firearm or ammunition under investigation, thereby the distance from the muzzle to the target being verified as a range. Witness statements, autopsy reports and/or photographs of the crime scene using instrumentation such as the comparison microscope, micrometers, cameras, calipers, stereomicroscopes and balances are the other pieces of evidences used by the Firearm Examiner. Determining caliber on bullets in order to determine if the firearm could accidentally discharge or is it safe to shoot by conducting safe and function operation tests on the firearm is also the work of the firearms examiner. The determination of the distance of gunshot is important to criminal investigation(s) as it is vital in tracing the direction from which the projectile was fired, thereby reconstructing the series of incident’s events thoroughly.
This is of utmost significance in obtaining justice for both the shooter and/or his victim(s) as the case might be, as the examiner can prepare courtroom evidence, serve as expert witnesses, and provide courtroom testimony. A gunpowder burn, normally referred to as stippling, is evident on victim shot at close range. In order to determine the distance of the shot the size of the burn is replicated from different distances. In addition, a firing range can be used to verify the distance of the shot, which is arrived at by shooting a gun at a thick cardboard target from varying distances. The distance is arrived at by examining the diameter of the gunpowder deposit and the size of the hole. In order for one to be an expert in this discipline, one must demonstrate in-depth knowledge in preparation of concise and clear reports, skillful standard ballistic tests performance, operating specialized equipment and usage of modern theories and methods to classify and identify firearms. For forensic analysis, the examiner must be in a position to perform chemical tests too, and/or taking photographs of firearms together with the related evidence. The aforementioned can be achieved by enrolling for a degree program in forensic science, criminology, criminal justice, physics, biology, chemistry and/or biochemistry.
In order to be a certified Firearms Examiner, one is encouraged to register with the Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners (AFTE) (Faigman, 2008). Preceding certification a candidate must be a good standing member of the AFTE, possess at least a bachelor’s degree in any of the above fields from accredited institution and of course over five years’ experience and training as a firearm/toolmark examiner. Finally, after meeting all these requirements, one can attain certification in examination and identification of firearm evidence, examination and identification of gunshot residue evidence, and/or examination an identification of toolmark evidence. To be a Firearm Examiner is an interesting affair as one works both indoors and outdoors thereby breaking boredom, the career is fulfilling as one is able to help unravel crime mysteries and of course not forgetting desirable salary of between $38236 and $74901 which is quite a substantial amount compared to other professions.
Kiely, T. F. (2006). Forensic evidence: science and the criminal law. Boca Raton, FL [etc.: CRC/Taylor & Francis.
Faigman, D. L. (2008). Modern scientific evidence: Forensics. Eagan, MN: Thomson/West.